Melaleuca deanei (a shrub) - vulnerable species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the shrub Melaleuca deanei F. Muell. as a VULNERABLE species on Schedule 2 of that Act. Listing of vulnerable species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Melaleuca deanei F. Muell. (Myrtaceae) is described in Harden 1991 (Flora of NSW Vol 2) as: a shrub to 3m high with fibrous-flaky bark. Leaves alternate, narrow-elliptic to oblanceolate, usually 12-25 mm long and 3-6 mm wide, apex apiculate, glabrous; petiole to 2.5 mm long. Inflorescences many flowered spikes 2-6 cm long; rachis villous. Flowers solitary within each bract, white. Petals broad-ovate, 3-5 mm long. Stamens 17-28 per bundle; claw 1.5-2 mm long. Fruit barrel-shaped, 5.5-7 mm diam., orifice 3 mm diam.; sepals not persistent in fruit. Flowers summer.

2. Melaleuca deanei occurs in two distinct areas, in the north (Ku-ring-gai/Berowra area) and south (Holsworthy/Wedderburn area) of Sydney. There are also more isolated occurrences in the Blue Mountains, Nowra and Central Coast areas. Grows in heath on sandstone.

3. Total population of Melaleuca deanei is conservatively estimated to be between 1000 and 3000 individuals and is extremely fragmented. Due to the plant's clonal nature, ramet counts may overestimate population size by two to three times. There are approximately 75 known locations of the species with a majority of these (including many that are in conservation reserves) containing only a few individuals. Small populations are more susceptible to catastrophic events and localised extinction. Locations are known from the following National Parks and Wildlife Service reserves: Berowra Valley Regional Park, Brisbane Water National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Garigal National Park, Lane Cove National Park, Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park.

4. The species shows evidence of a limited capacity to regenerate, with many sites having little or no seeds set. There are very few field observations of seedlings.

5. Threats include the small size of populations, regimes of frequent fire and urban development. Many locations occur on the edge of fire trails and may be impacted by trail maintenance and widening and by associated changes in runoff and weed encroachment. Risk of extinction is high due to low population numbers.

6. In view of 3, 4 and 5 above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Melaleuca deanei is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate, and is therefore eligible for listing as a vulnerable species.

Proposed Gazettal date: 17/9/99

Exhibition period: 17/9/99 - 22/10/99

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Page last updated: 28 February 2011